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Friday, July 31, 2015

Some Introductory Thoughts on Truth

We will suppose the existence of an object, the “Truth.” In fact, we will claim that everything that exists is Truth, and that there is nothing else.  Not all of the truth is manifest, that is, made physical.  Much, probably most, of truth is not manifest, that is, not physical.  This is not to claim that that part of truth which is not manifest does not exist.  We will use ‘exist’ in this more general way, and the term ‘manifest’ to refer to physical existence.  These definitions raise the suggestion that the physical universe is a peculiar manifestation of a larger existence.  They also suggest the importance of definition in both impeding and advancing understanding.

 

Now of course, we cannot claim that our thoughts, (which are a variety of statements,) of truth are anything but the chemical and biological processes taking place in our brains. That is, even our thoughts, and our perception of them, in this respect, are manifest.  However, we do suppose that truth, and statements of truth, exist whether or not any mind is actually thinking of them.  Because we suppose they exist, but need not be manifest, when, and where they are not manifest, we do not assign them any location in space, or time.  Whether we can, or should, assign them location in some ‘space’ or ‘time,’ in what I suppose to be the Platonic tradition, seems an open question. 

 

Statements of truth may also be manifest.  The truth is what is. It is perceived and represented in the mind.  The mind is also a aspect of the truth. Since the existence, and indeed apparent manifestation, of mind is possible, it would seem to also be necessary.  We can imagine that the truth can exist independent of mind, but it is probably more correct to make the more restricted claim, that at certain times, the truth can exist without minds of a given complexity.  The manifestation, of complex minds at any time, however, must be regarded as a definitive of truth. How complex manifest minds can be, how complex they can become, would seem to be limited by basic physics, however.  The existence of unmanifest complex minds seems another open question.

 

Consider truth like a landscape.  Each mind’s experience of that landscape is unique and different, but the truth is the entire landscape. (And the minds in that landscape, and the motion of the minds through that landscape, etc. But we will ignore this, for now.)  It does not change, but stays the same and is independent of any path taken by any mind through it. 

 

While truth is in a sense independent of perception,  truth is represented in various minds, to various degrees of accuracy, depending upon the experience and activity of the particular mind. That is, the perception of truth, and thus its representation in the mind, is dependent upon the path taken by that mind through the physical world.  Specifically, the mind is manifest, and its experience of truth is of that part of truth which itself is perceived by the mind, and manifest in the processes of the brain which the mind is. 

 

Now there is a sense in which all experiences of truth are equal.  Experience is experience.  Everyone’s experiences of the truth are of equal validity.  The truth is the truth.  However, there is, at least for the purposes of our discussion here, a more important sense in which they are not. Some experiences are more intense than others, more meaningful.  A good joke is more meaningful than a bad one.  And some experiences are more useful than others.  The experience of learning addition, beyond just gaining a valuable skill, also earns the student a feeling of mastery, and competence. The experience of failing to master this basic skill cannot be considered as useful, although the student’s life will still proceed, though on a different course.  This example suggests that some paths through truth are more limited, and more limiting.     

 

One of the representations of truth in a mind is as a statement, or more generally, the collection of statements, not all of which the mind may be consciously aware, which are regarded as true by that mind. 

 

A statement is ‘true’ insofar as it is a description of some part, or perhaps better, some aspect, of truth. A statement is false so far as its description of truth diverges from the truth. Statements do not exist in isolation, but are part of a mesh, or network which measures the truth, at least so far as the mind making the statement understands truth.  Thus, statements are true of false so far as the mesh they are a part measures the truth as it exists at that aspect of truth the statement represents.  Statements thus tend to be faithful representations over a limited aspect of truth,  and less so beyond that aspect.

 

 (Truth, of course, is not limited to being just a thing.  It also possesses a dynamic.  That is it undergoes change.  Of course, not all of it changes.  For now, we will discuss the part that does not change. )

 

We need to refine our notion of ‘statement.’   All statements are made of ‘words,’ each of which are defined by some set of statements about the truth. For the object ‘Truth,’ there are an infinite number of statements which together describe ‘Truth,’ so far as they are true.   But any one statement is completely the Truth.   And no statement. This is because statements are not the only representations of Truth.  Images and sounds, and other perceptions, and feelings, are also representations of truth.  Any of these may or may not be attached to statements.  Indeed, the attachment of these may augment a statement’s meaning, or weight. 

 

The most important thing about a statement, or any of the other representations of truth in the mind, is that they are not the aspect of truth that they themselves represent.  They are just representations of that truth, in the mind.  (Of course, statements are also things in themselves, and because of this, they are easily mistaken for the truth they represent.) It is thus better instead to regard a statement as a pointer to that particular aspect of truth it represents.   As a pointer, it is accurate so far as it accurately points to that aspect of truth it represents.  So, when a statement is used to communicate between minds, its accuracy must be expected to degrade. That aspect of truth the first mind imagines the statement points to cannot/will not be identical.

 

A word without context has no meaning.*  It is only in the context of other words, with other weights and meanings, that a particular word acquires meaning itself.  So to expand the understanding of a word, one must explore an ever wider circle of words and meanings.  In the process, an ever more accurate understanding of the original word may be obtained.  In this way, we may create a dictionary of words, each a representation of some aspect of truth, 

 

But, a dictionary of words is necessarily circular. In this sense they start out necessarily as circles of tautology, from which ever larger circles and interlocking networks of different circles are spun out.**  Words are defined in terms of other words, those words in terms of still other words, and so forth until finally the words are defined in terms of the words we started with. Each mind’s dictionary of words is unique, however.  Each mind’s dictionary has different words, though many, or perhaps most, overlap, and different connectivity, though many connections may be the same. 

 

So when one mind communicates with another, it sends a statement of words, a pointer to a truth, which is a representation of that truth in that mind’s dictionary, to the other mind.  The pointer points to the truth as represented in the dictionary of the other mind.  But since the dictionary of the second mind will not be the same, the pointer will not be quite the same.  The truth pointed to will also be different, both because of the difference in the pointer, and because of the difference in the definition of the truth itself in the second mind’s dictionary. 

 

Note, though, that the argument implies that there exists a sort of ‘absolute’ dictionary, an absolute representation of the truth, of which each of the dictionaries in the two different minds were only (to use the term loosely,) approximations. The accuracy of the communication would depend upon the accuracy of the particular dictionaries regarding that particular aspect of truth. 

 

The absolute dictionary would consist of pointers of absolute accuracy.  Such a dictionary of course, ‘exists’’ at a limit which cannot be made manifest.  Each pointer would exist to infinitely detailed description, in terms of infinitely many other pointers, also of infinitely detailed description.  And even so, it would still be a dictionary of words, that is, a representation of truth.  (Of course, the map would be the size of the territory.  And the truth itself is a mere representation of itself.) 

 

Our absolute dictionary represents all truth. It consists of all pointers to all aspects of truth.  The dictionary of each mind, however, is manifest, and can only be at best merely an approximation of that dictionary. At best, it consists of some pointers to some aspects of truth.  There is no guarantee that that approximation is at all a very good one.  Any given mind’s dictionary may indeed be a very bad approximation.  The pointers may be few, and of these few many pointers may be inaccurate.  One particular and pernicious thing that often happens is that the dictionary, the mind, conflates the pointer with the aspect of truth being pointed to.  The mind confuses the definition it assigns the word with the reality that word represents.  Nowhere is this error so glaringly apparent, and its consequences so limiting and divisive, than in theological thought.  Often, and often after first asserting that ‘God’ cannot be understood, the believer then proceeds to think, and argue, as if God, however as the believer actually, and perhaps unconsciously, defines God, is God as God exists.  Even atheists often fall into this error, arguing not against the existence of God as God may or may not exist, but against the existence of God according to one or another peculiar definition of God.  For the atheist, of course, his work is already done for him. God, as God may or may not exist, is almost certainly not approximated by what any believer thinks God to be.

 

 However, our experience in handling the words beyond the dictionary gives them weight beyond that provided by the mere dictionary definition.  The words acquire weight in the context of the mind’s experience in the world, which is the manifestation of the truth.  The mind’s dictionary is not just an intellectual and abstract representation of its path through truth.  It is weighted with the emotions associated with the mind’s experiences.  These emotions are themselves representations of truth.  Since these manifest dictionaries are approximations of the absolute dictionary, there is no reason to suppose that in the absolute dictionary the unmanifest equivalent of these emotions are also represented.  And there is no reason to suppose that these unmanifest equivalencies are not also aspects of truth.     

 

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*This statement is only true in the context of this argument.  We can also regard a word as in some ways similar to an element in chemistry.  It has properties in and of itself, different from and, for words, anyway, more general than when it is combined with other words.  In combination, a word’s meaning is refined and particularized.  Alone, it is generalized and simplified. Also see the next note.

 

**A tautological assertion, such as “The truth is the truth,” we interpret as asserting that any other statement about (in this case) the truth, is not exactly the truth, ie a true statement, but merely an approximation of a true statement.  On the one hand, the more words and statements we involve in the definition of truth the more accurate the representation, as we describe more particular features of truth.  On the other hand, the more words and statements we involve in the definition of truth the less accurate the representation.  This is because we are increasingly narrowing our perspective to point out important details.  In the study of manifest objects, it can be compared to using a microscope. 

10:29 pm est

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mistakes were Made Part III

 

So we have reached the stage of development where the mind is making choices as to what is inside itself, and what is outside. These are choices, made by the mind, based on its previous experiences and its analysis of them.   Increasingly we are experiencing what we define, and experience as consciousness as adults.  This development is the same process as the development of attention.  Indeed, the formation and sharpening of attention is the development of consciousness.  What we are conscious of is what we focus our attention on.  

 

Dynamically, the development of attention is a reorganization of the different functional regions of the brain.  The differentiation of the various functional regions of the brain is in part due to the structure of the brain, especially for the more primitive, somatic, regions.  The primary sensory and motor regions of the cerebrum are also generally defined by the structural connections to their respective sensory and motor neurons, although even at this level there is some variation.  (Mostly.  There would seem to be extreme cultural instances where their functions are significantly affected.)   

 

In the earliest stages of development, the architecture of the neurons of the different regions are similar, as therefore also their functionality. The different functionality, and indeed the different neural structure of the various regions of the brain, (These regions may be regarded as corresponding to the different Brodmann areas of the cerebral cortex.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brodmann_area  ) are primarily the result of the conditioning of the brain during its critical period of high plasticity, starting with its differentiation from the rest of the embryo.

 

Each region of the brain is unique in its relation to all the other regions of the brain. Therefore each region receives uniquely different inputs from the other regions of the brain, even during the period there are no inputs to the sense organs. Already there is a diffuse structural and functional differentiation. And during this earliest stage, there is also already activity in the neural pathways from the sense organs to the primary sensory cortex in the brain. This also affects structural and functional differentiation. 

 

10:28 pm est

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mistakes were Made, Part II

So the first source of mistakes of understanding made by the developing mind is a result of the changes in the cycles of its internal feedback, as these develop and become the mind, and the mind becomes more complicated, more self-aware. There are various stages of development between which the understanding of self changes dramatically.  And the old understandings are forgotten, because they are incompatible with the new understandings.  However, this does not mean they did not happen, or that they were merely noise.   

 

The second source of mistakes is found in the interactions the developing mind first has with the external world. It is tempting to imagine the developing mind growing out from a minute center, toward the inward growth of the world defined by its developing sensory apparatuses. A more apt image would be a hugely complex and busy network of neurons, whose activity is progressively slowed, or reduced, or diminished, and differentiated by the signals from its environment as mediated by the senses through their inputs into the brain.

 

This model makes the mistakes more understandable, since the dynamic network, seen from its own point of view, has no clear interior or exterior.  Indeed, the concepts of interior and exterior do not exist.  The network is only self aware, in the most primitive sense of being able to act on and modify itself.  It is not yet aware of even the existence of anything else.  Sensory input acts on an already active and dynamic system.  However, despite the boundary problem, the network must have a rudimentary self-image, a self-image that involves some sort of mapping of the body onto the brain.  One particular of the self image is that it includes a ‘proto-face.’

 

We know it is possible to form a fairly precise self image in the absence of external sensory input, including apparently, some notion of a self, and an at least partially formed notion of an exterior.  Without such a self image, that is without a structure of internal neural actions fairly closely mapping onto the body, massive and unlikely adaptations would be required for say, horses, to take one instance, to walk within a few hours of birth, after their nearly identical subjective experience in the womb.  The action of the sensory apparatus, even in the absence of external stimulation, seems adequate for this conditioning, though even for the simplest minds, the process is not yet complete. For the horse, experience beyond the womb is required to finish the formation of a self image.  

 

And an even greater amount of development is required for the more complicated human brain. Indeed, it may be, because of the greater complexity of human interaction, the more completely self-conditioned brain of an animal would be a disadvantage.  At birth, the human self-image and boundaries are not nearly as clearly defined as for more primitive mammals.  The result of this is that in the newborn, the mind cannot clearly distinguish between self and the world.  So at birth, the self expands into its new environment, which is incorporated into the self as part of the self.  

 

This is different and deeper than the later processes of conditioning, which the mind perceives as adapting to an external world. These early experiences go toward forming the mind’s identity.  They become a part of the person, part of who and what the person- feels itself to be. The mistake is that something which is contingent, the environment, is incorporated into the identity as something which is essential to that identity.  Some of the environment is universal, shared by all, but most of it is not, and merely a result of the immediate situation the mind is born into.  These contingent elements stand in the way of understanding the essential self.

 

Now these early experiences are mediated by an unfinished perceptual apparatus. The finishing requires the interaction of the environment and the brain, to both sharpen and differentiate the senses.  Sensation penetrates to the deepest levels, those most distant from direct input from the senses.  There it acts on these regions of the still developing mind. But because the senses are not completely differentiated, the senses bleed into each other.  And because they are not sharpened, they tend to be ‘flat,’ that is lacking depth, and ‘fuzzy,’ where different object of perception are not clearly distinguished. 

 

This sharpening and differentiating process also works upon the deeper levels of the brain as well, which part of the brain is also ‘unfinished,’ in the sense of being incompletely conditioned to its environment.  The very nature of ‘ideas,’ such as they are at this stage imagined, can be thought of as both flatter and fuzzier, lacking character and overlapping more.  Although, because idea formation also involves bleeding in from the senses, they are also more intense; one might say more meaningful, especially where they involve the sensations of feeling.     

 

Conditioning of the brain proceeds from the senses inward.  Although all levels experience conditioning at the same time, the process is fastest, and reaches ‘completion’ soonest, at the level of the primary sensory cortex, and proceeds more slowly the further along the path of sensation one looks.  (The process is never completely complete.)  The deeper layers of the brain act upon the sensory layers, sharpening and differentiating the image they perceive, and becoming sharpened differentiated, although at a slower rate, in turn.  Thus the prefrontal cortex, that part of the brain most distant from the sensory inputs to the brain, is the last to mature. (The prefrontal cortex is also strongly modified by input from the motor cortex.)  However, this does not mean that its development is not affected, and often profoundly so, by earlier experience. 

 

The interpretation of experiences in the world, however, still depends on the previous experiences of the brain, and the conclusions the brain reached during its earlier stages of development.  During this stage, decisions are still being made, and the brain is still undergoing changes in state.  These decisions can be roughly characterized as a progressive relegating of increasing portions of its environment to the ‘outside.’  That is, more and more elements of the world, which were once considered a part of the identity, (and in a sense we will discuss in the next part, still remain so,) are assigned a place outside that identity.  This does not happen all at once, or evenly.  Inanimate objects which are close, but not too close, tend to be externalized quickest.  This is because they occupy a greater part of the mind’s attention, and yet are unresponsive to the mind’s manipulation.  Their image in the mind becomes fixed the quickest.  Animate objects, intimate objects, and distant objects, take longer.  Thus, for instance, a mother, a stuffed animal, the space in a closet, all take longer to externalize, because their image in the brain takes longer to fixate.  Because of this, their image in what is increasingly becoming an unconscious space, is also larger.  Indeed, because of the development of an unconscious, the result of the narrowing of attention and its increasing focusing on the environment, these objects acquire a special character, and depth.  This depth develops, oddly, as a result of inconsistency in the mind permitted, or perhaps caused, or perhaps it causes, the development of the unconscious. The unconscious mind, still including these objects in its identity, still believes it can affect them. Indeed, the unconscious mind is still involved in modulating the sensory cortex.  But the conscious mind, more conditioned by the environment, has externalized these objects.  Thus, the action of the unconscious mind on the external object is perceived by the conscious mind, and interpreted as the action of that object. So, the stuffed animal may be perceived to talk. 

 

In the third part, we will further detail the separation of the self from the world. In particular we will discuss the externalization of that image of self, God.

 

10:12 pm est

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mistakes Were Made

We all grow into the things we come to believe.  What we believe is the result of the journey of our mind throughout our life, from just after inception to where we are now.  And the things we believe, and how we think about those things, are entwined with our experiences in the world, experiences that start even in the womb. 

 

While the brain, the substrate of our mind and its beliefs, does not start out unformed, it does start out extraordinarily plastic and malleable. This is necessary, because it must quickly adapt to one or another of the enormous variety of possible human cultures it might be born into.  This adaptation consists of countless changes, many irreversible, to the very structure and functionality of the brain.  Some of these changes are independent of culture, and, indeed are common to all development. Other changes are specific to each person's culture and parenting.

 

There is naturally variation, even among those changes in the brain which are most general and independent of culture. Each brain is unique in the detail of its original formation, is unique in its earliest development before it gains experience through interacting with the world, and unique in its interaction with that world.  And the face of the world in which each brain, each mind, finds itself, is unique to that mind. 

 

And it is during this process of development that the mind decides for itself what is true and real, and what is false, based on its experience, and based on what it already knows.

 

However, there are two possible sources of mistakes. In fact, mistakes originating from these sources are inevitable, and even necessary, and, for the full development of the mind, must be overcome later in life. 

 

The first of these mistakes originates from the process of mental development itself.  In particular, at the beginnings of development, the mind makes observations, and makes decisions on these observations, without reference to any external world.  In fact, in the beginning, the mind is not aware that any such world exists, or even that it has an ‘exterior,’ until its sensory apparatus begin to be conditioned by that world, and through that apparatus, the brain itself. 

 

Caution should be used here with the idea of awareness. It is certainly not like the awareness we each now have, one which has been conditioned by our experiences in the world.  It is an awareness which matures, continuously and gradually, but also goes through distinct stages, which are neither continuous nor gradual. The change from each earlier stage to the next one may be regarded as a decision, based on conclusions reached by the mind in its earlier stage.  However, in this new, more ‘developed’ stage, the mind does not reason the same way the mind did in its earlier, more ‘primitive’ stage.  Thus, the reasons for any decision, and the decision itself, are forgotten.  (This process is reflected in the intellectual processes of the mature mind.  When a decision, or a conclusion is reached, often the assumptions and rationale and even the evidence that went into reaching that decision are forgotten.  The conclusion becomes the basis for further rationality, and behavior, that is, the conclusion becomes an assumption. Consider, for instance, how much you remember about when and why you first decided how you were going to walk for the rest of your life. Or the earlier decision, of how your voice was going to sound.  Or the later one, of how you were going to dress.

 

The reason this process results in mistakes is because the brain, the mind, at these earlier stages of development, is perfectly rational.  The decisions it makes, which alter the way it processes information, are the correct ones needed for its further development.  This implies that these earlier, more primitive ways of processing information have their domain of validity. They are based on the evidence as perceived and interpreted by the undeveloped brain. However, the more developed mind of the later stages rejects these processes as having any validity at all, because it does not remember the occasions when it was valid.  This is a mistake.  Actually, it’s the same mistake repeated at least several times, though with differing consequences, since each causes a different alteration, and in general, actually, a different restriction, on the brain’s ability to process information.   

 

We will go into two particular aspects of these mistakes.  The first considers the role of emotion in cognition.  Only in the fully mature brain does rational thought seem to completely  separate from emotion, though emotion may still provide motivation.  However, in the earlier stages of development, emotional and intellectual processes were more thoroughly entwined, and in the most primitive states inseparable.  This implies that certain understandings of the early brain are not reachable by intellect alone. In particular, the facts known to that brain, and the processes available to manipulate those facts, are inaccessible without engaging the relevant emotions.  This is not to say these facts and processes cannot be represented in the brain with out involving the emotions.  But it is to claim that the meaning of these facts cannot be appreciated, and their proper processing cannot be accomplished.  One can claim that these more primitively understood facts and processes are not relevant to the larger world.  I personally believe any claim to justify ignorance, such as this one, needs to be substantiated.

 

The second particular aspect we will go into is the role of logic in the functioning of the mind.  We give the Three Laws of Logic pride of place in our intellectual pantheon, and in the rationalities of our daily lives,  and do not often appreciate their limitations.  Part of this, of course, is that we often ignore them in our daily lives, for the reasons that the assumptions under which we live those lives generally do not bear close scrutiny.  Yet, rather than examining those assumptions, we pretend to logic, with the result that our thought and behavior is often incoherent.  How these inconsistent assumptions are formed, and some of the consequences of their inconsistency, will be looked at more carefully in the next part.

 

In the early, pre-intellectual stages of development of the brain, the brain had an apperception of the entirety of its experience, that is, of its entire world.

In the realm of the intellect, logic is both necessary and limiting.  Each branch of mathematics is developed, according to the rules of (some form of) logic, from a set of consistent assumptions.  These assumptions are different for each branch of mathematics. Each branch of mathematics is, in at least an informal sort of way, complete, in itself.  Generally, different sets of assumptions are not consistent with each other, but by moving between different sets of assumptions, we can move between the different branches of mathematics.  Now we use mathematics to describe the world, but of necessity, we use many different branches.  This would imply that the universe cannot be described using one, or any, consistent set of assumptions.  Thus, if we insist that the universe must be consistent, we can never come to an understanding of it.  Each branch of mathematics, as it were, provides a different perspective on reality, a perspective which is complete in itself, and to come to an understanding of the whole, we must transcend the limitations of logic.  However, this cannot be done if we are restricted to intellect. We can only understand each part at any time.  For our intellect to deal with any other part, it must relinquish its grasp on the first.

 

In the next part we will examine the necessary mistakes the world imposes upon the developing mind.  Some are general and culturally independent. Others vary according to culture and parentage.

8:27 pm est

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finding God

There is God, as God really is.  And then there are the billions of images that each of the billions of people in the world have of God.  Since each of those people is God, each of those images is a reflection of God. And each reflection is a true and faithful representation of God.   Each image is an image of God as God really is.  But though they are each true, they are each contingent images, each image contingent on the experience of the particular individual.

 

Each individual’s image of God comes from the mind of that individual, formed by the experience of that individual, and ultimately from his deepest unconscious.   Each image is a simplified image, of course.  And, since the mind is experienced in only the limited dimensions of the world, and since God, and even the world itself as the world really is, which is God, are in greater dimensions, the image of God in the mind is a simplified image of God, in reduced dimensions. 

 

However, the unconscious is the individual’s inner self.  So, each of those images of God is an image of the individual’s own inner self.  Each individual is what they imagine their God to be. They are conscious agents of their God, who is their inner self.

 

Now the God of their imagination has two images in their mind, which are reflected one behind the other. One is the conscious image of God, the image of God the individual describes and professes.  Behind this image is the other, their unconscious image of God.*  It is this unconscious image of God which defines the actions of the individual. It also shapes and limits the conscious image of God, and the conscious mind itself.  In particular, it limits the ability of the conscious mind reflect upon and examine the unconscious image itself.

 

The unconscious image of God is a higher dimensional image of God than the conscious image.  One reason is that the unconscious image is not limited by the constraints of logic that tend to restrict the thinking of the conscious mind. Because of this, the conscious image of God will tend to be, in some sense, logically consistent. The unconscious image of God, however, need not be, and indeed, cannot be logically consistent.

 

The desire for logical consistency by the conscious mind may indeed usually be the most important barrier between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind.  However, it is not the only barrier, and like the others, it can be overcome.   Indeed, in some ways consistency is often one of the easiest barriers to the understanding of the self and God to overcome.  The other barriers are tied in with the individual’s emotional experiences.  Of these barriers, early barriers to understanding will be contingent on the individual’s earliest experiences in the world.  For some individuals, some of these barriers may indeed be the most difficult.  The later barriers to the understanding of the self and God are essential barriers, common to all men.**  They arise in the experiences of the mind during its earliest development, before it interacts with the outer world.

 

Now the conscious image of God need not be consistent with the unconscious image, and indeed, most likely will not be.  When this is the case the individual’s actions will not consistent with their speech.  The individual will say one thing, and do another.  However, this does not mean the individual will perceive his actions to be inconsistent.  In fact, the individual’s actions will likely be justified in terms of what he says, no matter how inconsistent they may seem to others.  Indeed, the greater inconsistency will be more vigorously defended, since the greater the inconsistency, the deeper it must be based in the emotional unconscious to be maintained.  Reason and self reflection must be more strongly blocked, because the link which justifies action with word is not rational, but ‘sub-rational.’ The very structure of his thought will be a reflection of what he unconsciously believes God to be.  That is, his thought will be a reflection of his unconscious image of God. 

 

His actions, then, not only reflect what he unconsciously believes God to be, but are a realization of what he unconsciously believes God to be.  He is not merely an agent of God, but he is his God acting.  Or, more precisely, he is his unconscious image of God, acting, for that is what he believes his God to truly be. And in this he is correct.  But, his unconscious image of God consists of many contingent features of God. These contingent features overlay the deeper, essential features of God, which are those features which are defined by those experiences which are shared by, which are common to, all men.  These contingent features, or characteristics of God, are peculiar to the individual and the details of his growth and psychological development in the world.  They are thus peculiar to his experiences in the world. They are features defined by his experience of his earliest upbringing.  These features are defined by his experiences with his family, and his culture. These contingent features, these characters, develop into the religion and the values he comes to espouse.  Since the individual does not remember many of these experiences, the features of his image of God defined by these experiences remain unconscious, and they are anchored by emotion in the unconscious.  They are the characteristics of his conscious thinking and personality. 

 

Contradictions laid at this level, combined with later experiences, can result in any of a great variety of life trajectories.  No two persons’ experiences of development in the world are identical, and neither are any of the lives that result. No two persons’ contingent experiences are the same. No two persons’ images of God are identical.  Indeed, even among essential experiences, there is some variation, and so some variation in result.  Thus, there is even variation between essential images of God, although the deeper we go, the more alike the experiences become, the more universal the perceived characteristics of God.     

 

The deeper into the unconscious we go, the deeper into God’s essential self we go, and the less we are subject to contingent images of God, which are those reflected in the conscious and shallower unconscious mind of the individual.  In a sense, essential features of God are beneath the contingent features of God.  These essential features of God are those defined by the experiences of the mind before it interacts with the world.  Some contingent features may also be defined at this time.  Some essential features are also defined while the mind first interacts with the world, but before the mind is aware that it is interacting with the world.  And some contingent features are also defined by experiences at this stage of development.

 

So what are the barriers to the understanding of the self, and God? 

 

As the mind develops, it realizes truths, truths about itself, and truths about its world.  Each of these truths is an experience, a profound experience freighted with intense emotion.  Each truth must be experienced in the development of the mind, and then suppressed, so the mind can continue on to the next phase of its development.  Each truth must be experienced.  The mind then makes the decision to move on, the decision itself forgotten.

 

Each of these truths, each of these- emotional experiences, is both a barrier, and the overcoming of that barrier.  And to overcome the last barrier is to know God, and to know the self, as It truly is.  

 

I think it’s It.  It’s been a while, and I’ve forgotten.

 ________________________

*This description is of course, not literal.  A different analogy might be described more in terms of differentially habituated networks, the deeper networks requiring increasing degrees of emotional involvement to activate. The appearance from above is not the appearance from below.

**My current thinking is that the only difference between the essential experiences of men and women, and thus that their essential experiences are otherwise identical, is that men are alone in the void, while women experience the void within. However, there still remains the later, sexually differentiated development of the brain, and thus the mind.  Although there is significant overlap in the distributions of mental physiology and psychology between the sexes, the means and variations of the distributions are, in certain ways, different.   

9:33 pm est

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Welcome God!

     For that is who You are.  Whether or not You choose to believe that You are God,
the One God, that of course is your divine prerogative.
     As for the reality, You are God, whether You want to be or not.  So Welcome!

Here You will find some answers to some questions You may have about Your divine nature, and the nature of Your creation.

     If you are
satisfied with your
life, your faith,your
God, you are
commanded not to
 read this.
But of course,
who am I to
 command You?

           
There is only God.

 God is known by
His works. 



Faith and belief comprise a very important part of our lives. A person's beliefs in many ways define who they are -- how they see themselves, what they want out of life, and more.

On this web site I'll offer a personal account of my own beliefs. I'll describe how my beliefs have changed my life in profound and exciting ways, and how I think they might change the lives of others.

I'll also be sure to provide links to my favorite sites as well as information about organizations that help strengthen or support my beliefs., or provide interesting contrast.
 
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